Monday, July 22, 2013

Rila Monastery

The Rila Monastery became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

It was bit hard to find much information on how to get there via public transportation but I found one blog said that is was possible to reach the Monastery from Blagoevgard by taking a bus to the Rila Village at 11 AM and then catch a bus to the Monastery at 12:40. I found there was a bus from Blagoevgard at 7 AM to the village and a vague reference that there was bus to the Monastery leaving the village at 7:40. I took the chance that these would work for getting to the monastery and it worked out great. The bus to the Monastery seems to wait for the one from Blagoevgard to arrive prior to leaving and am just putting this info here in case someone else is looking for public transportation information on reaching the monastery.

The great thing about arriving early was that there were more locals than tourist and the people were using the monastery for worship rather than tourist. There was a line to worship in front of a small coffin shaped box which I believe have the remains of Saint John of Rila.

After looking around the monastery for a little while I toke a long walk in the woods. It was really enjoyable just following a road along the side of a stream and I walked till the road became a path and then when the path seemed to stop or at least I was not sure where it went turned around and returned to the monastery.

I made it back to the Monastery for the arrival of the bus that left Rila Village at 12:40 and figured I would catch this for the return journey. I did catch this but it does no return until 3 PM so I have more time then I really needed at the Monastery but the return trip worked out well unlike some of my other trips in Bulgaria. Also from the bus schedule at Rila Village it appeared that the 7:40AM bus returned around 9AM but I would confirm this if you are going to try and use this bus for the return journey.

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